Schram, Frederick R. Department of Biology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.
Rozen, Jerome G., Jr. Department of Entomology, American Museum of Natural History, New York, New York.
McLaughlin, Patsy A. Shannon Point Marine Center, Western Washington University, Anacortes, Washington.
Last reviewed:December 2019
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- Internal organs and physiology
- Nervous system
- Respiration and excretion
- Myriapods and insects
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The largest phylum in the animal kingdom, including the well-known insects, spiders, ticks, and crustaceans, as well as many smaller, less well-known groups. Members of the phylum Arthropoda, that is, arthropods, are the dominant metazoans (multicellular animals) on Earth, comprising approximately 75–85% of all species of animals. Moreover, arthropods have the richest fossil record of any animal group, and there is an abundance of strange arthropod forms known only as fossils. The number of known and described arthropod species exceeds 1 million; of this number, most are insects (Fig. 1). Some authorities estimate that the number of arthropods may range as high as 10 million. See also: Animal kingdom; Arachnida; Araneae; Crustacea; Insecta; Metazoa
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